As we all know, eyeliner application can go very wrong, very quickly and we’ve all been down that road. And as the years roll by, eyeliner application can get a bit trickier for us for many reasons: our eyesight often changes over the years, we may develop hooded eyes, the texture of our eyelids changes, or our hands may not be quite as steady as they once were… or a combination of the above.
But, thankfully, there are some application tools and techniques that can make the process of eyeliner application a whole lot easier.
Since our lashes get lighter and shorter and become less dense as we get older, it’s more important than ever to highlight our eyes by giving them more definition and dimension. Our lashes can look fuller and thicker with eyeliner, and we can also better define the shape of our eyes. So here are some tips that I hope will make eyeliner application easier.
#1: Invest in a magnifying mirror or magnifying makeup eyeglasses. As scary as these products can be, they are definitely essential to ensure that you can really see what you’re doing.
#2: It can help to sit down, plant your elbows on a firm surface and rest your pinky finger on your cheek. These three things will ensure greater stability as you apply eyeliner.
#3: Apply eye primer over the entire eye area and under the eye as well. The primer will keep all your eye products in place longer – especially if you have oily eyelids or hooded eyes.
#4: Choose an eyeliner product that applies easily and glides across the lid, so it won’t tug or pull that delicate eye area skin. And since many of us have issues with eyes that water easily, choosing a waterproof eyeliner can also be helpful.
It’s important to think about what type of eyeliner to use. There are so many different options: we can choose creams, gels, pencils, liquid liners, or eyeshadow. Whatever is easiest for you to use is best, but I think for most of us pencils or eyeshadows are the easiest products to apply.
And if you’re using a pencil that needs to be sharpened, you want to make sure it’s sharpened before you begin application.
Tip: To help ensure that the pencil doesn’t break off as you sharpen it, try putting it in the refrigerator before you start your makeup routine.
In the video, I demonstrate using an automatic pencil eyeliner on one eye and eyeshadow on the other eye.
On the eye where I’m using an automatic pencil, I demonstrate two different techniques. Now it’s certainly not necessary to use both of these techniques, but you can. The first technique is to tightline. This technique involves applying eyeliner under the lash line in the water line of the eye.
Tightlining is especially helpful if we have hooded eyes since often we don’t have a lot of space on our lids to apply eyeliner. Tightlining can also help our eyeliner look a bit softer and less intense. I certainly know that tightlining can be a bit intimidating, and it’s not for all of us, but once you practice it a bit and get used to doing it, it does become far easier.
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Gently place one finger in the center of the eyelid and gently pull up. Then take your waterproof eyeliner and apply it under the lashes as close to the lashes as possible. Then hold the eye open for a few seconds so there’s less chance that the eyeliner will transfer down to the lower lid. But if it does transfer, just take a Q-tip and gently remove it.
If you have very sensitive eyes like I do, you may not be able to tightline with every eyeliner. The only eyeliner I’ve found that I can use to tightline that doesn’t irritate my eyes is eyeliner from the brand Tarte. In the video I’m using Tarte’s Quicksticks which has cream eyeshadow on one end and eyeliner on the other end.
Gently pull the eye slightly taut so any texture you have in your eyelid area doesn’t cause an uneven application. Then apply the eyeliner as close as possible to the base of the lashes – or even between the lashes. One tip that can be helpful is to just apply dots or small dashes and then connect the dots and dashes by using a smudging tool, a small brush or a Q-tip.
It’s also important to know that different tools can make applying eyeliner along the upper lash line easier. For instance, you can take a small, angled brush and then rub it against the eyeliner pencil several times to pick up the eyeliner pigment.
Then you can use the brush – which is far more forgiving than an eyeliner pencil – to actually apply the eyeliner. Then, if you like, you can smudge out the line with the brush, a smudger or a Q-tip.
And if you’re still not totally happy with how the eyeliner looks, here’s one more thing you can do which works wonderfully: go over the eyeliner color with eyeshadow to smudge it out a bit further. The eyeshadow works wonders to cover up any mistakes.
On the other eye, I’m using eyeshadow as my eyeliner and use my small, angled brush to apply it. Now I have one caveat with this technique: not all eyeshadows will work effectively as eyeliner since some will disappear quite quickly.
So, it’s important to experiment with a few different eyeshadows to see which ones will be long-lasting. If you have really oily eyelids or hooded eyes, you may also want to take a very small amount of translucent eyeshadow or powder on a brush and apply it very lightly over the eyeliner so it will stay in place longer.
And there are two products that can be used to turn any eyeshadow into waterproof eyeliner: Makeup Forever’s Aqua Seal or Inglot’s Duraline. You simply put a drop of Aqua Seal on the back of the hand, pick up some eyeshadow on a brush and then dip the brush into just a tiny bit of the Aqua Seal and apply to the eyelid.
You’ve now turned your eyeshadow into waterproof eyeliner. But you do have to wash out the brush right away or it will stiffen and be unusable.
Usually, it’s possible to easily clean up any mistake by dipping a pointed Q-tip into some makeup remover. Or it’s possible to purchase an actual makeup remover pen.
Are you using a different type of eyeliner now than what you used when you were younger? If so, what product do you find easiest to use now? What application technique do you find to be the easiest for you? Do you have a favorite eyeliner product? If so, please share.